Christlike People Around Us
by Apolinario Villalobos
Without their knowing it, some people around us are Christlike – they who act like Christ but do not belong to the Christian fold. Some do not even belong to any religion. The Christlike way is my own gauge in measuring the extent of kindness one extends to others, while being Christian is belonging to the group that is supposed to advocate the teachings of Christ. Unfortunately, some or most members are only Christian in name but not in action.
When the typhoon Yolanda devastated Leyte and its neighboring Visayan provinces, some Aeta tribes in Zambales went down with bunches of bananas and sweet potatoes in answer to the call for donations. A girl donated her month’s savings that amounted to a little more than a hundred pesos. Two cigarette vendors I met in Sta. Cruz, Manila, donated the money each of them saved. While one vendor’s savings was supposed to be for his wife who was to give birth within the month, the other one’s savings was supposed to be for the purchase of tarpaulin for the pushcart which he considered as his family’s home.
In our neighborhood, “Ester”, a housewife who operates a beauty parlor sponsors free haircut at least once a month in depressed areas. A retired couple in a nearby neighborhood, “Gene” and “Maggie”, crams their old van with goodies for deserving street children who they would encounter every time they hit the road, aside from doing weekend visit to depressed areas with a small group. Still, a couple in another neighborhood, “Sam” and “Ness”, regularly visit on weekends a shelter for elderlies where they spend their whole day as volunteers. A retired couple in their 80’s, “Lando” and “Cora” are foster parents to a former child prostitute who will graduate from high school next year.
Even distance does not hinder others to act like Christ. “Perla” who lives in the United States regularly calls friends, schools, and stores for books to be discarded, even tarpaulins and emergency home tools which she patiently packs to be sent to the Philippines for street children. “Doring”, brought out her carefully saved money, an extra amount during her last visit to the Philippines, and which she sent to be spent for a needy person and street children.
There are more of these Christlike people around us, who do not even know that they are manifesting the image of Christ through their acts. Some do not even know how to pray the Rosary and Novena. Some do not kneel in front of the altar and implore God for blessings. Some have not tried joining a religious procession. Some do not say repetitive prayers akin to pagan chanting. Some do not offer flowers and candles to the images of saints. But these Christlike people, do what are supposed to be done right away for others, acts which are along what Christ said: “what you do to others, you do to me”, and “love they neighbor”…which could mean, who they may be.